On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2021, the Wheaton Franciscans have taken action to meet the urgent challenge of Pope Francis to the universal Church to protect our common home and to address the effects of climate change, global warming, and concern for the poor. “An exciting global movement is underway to create and implement action plans to move us to a flourishing future for all humanity,” stated Sister Beatrice Hernandez, who is leading this effort of the Wheaton Franciscan Community.
The seven-year plan is in response to the encyclical (papal letter) Laudato Si’ written by Pope Francis in 2015. It discusses scientific and spiritual perspectives on the current state of Earth, our common home. Sister Melanie Paradis, Regional Directress of the Wheaton Franciscans, announced the community’s commitment: “What we are embarking on is a response to the question, ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ (Laudato Si’ #160). The Wheaton Franciscans have lovingly cared for our land in Wheaton and people in need for 75 years, and we are now redoubling our efforts to demonstrate regenerative living, in collaboration with all who seek a healthy and safe community, especially the young.”